Two More ISIS Brides ‘Stripped of UK Citizenship’ as Shamima Begum Controversy Simmers

By Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'
March 10, 2019 Updated: March 10, 2019

Two more women from the UK who are in Syrian camps with their young children have been stripped of their British citizenship, a report says.

According to The Sunday Times, the two women, who between them have five boys under the age of 8, had their UK nationality revoked after marrying into an ISIS terror cell linked to the murder of Western hostages.

It comes amid the ongoing row over whether Shamima Begum, the London teenager who ran away from home to join the ISIS terror group, should be allowed back into the UK.

Begum surfaced in a Syrian refugee camp following her escape from the collapsing ISIS “caliphate” and has pleaded to be allowed to return. She sparked online controversy after giving interviews and seeming to endorse terror attacks on British soil and expressing no remorse for joining the murderous ISIS terrorists.

British authorities stripped her of British citizenship, citing security concerns.

Begum’s newborn son, Jarrah, died on March 7 from pneumonia, becoming her third child to die in infancy.

‘Cubs of the Caliphate’

The case highlights the legal and moral dilemma of what to do with so-called cubs of the caliphate—children of British women who joined up with the terrorists and now want to return.

There are at least a dozen more jihadi brides from Britain and over 20 of their children in Syrian camps after fleeing from territory formerly held by ISIS.

Legal sources cited by The Times have identified the two women whose return to Britain has been effectively blocked as 30-year-old Reema Iqbal and her sister, 28-year-old Zara Iqbal.

Both sisters reportedly left London for Syria in 2013 and married members of a six-man terror cell linked to filmed executions by Jihadi John.

The husbands of the Iqbal sisters were reportedly killed in fighting.

Asked about the Iqbal sisters, British authorities told The Times they would not comment on individual cases. A spokesman for the British Home Office was cited by the paper as saying, “Any decisions to deprive individuals of their citizenship are based on all available evidence and not taken lightly.”

Brandon Lewis, chairman of Britain’s ruling Tory party, was cited by the paper as saying that any child’s death was “absolutely tragic.”

However, Lewis defended British Home Secretary Sajid Javid’s decision to strip Begum of citizenship and block her return to the UK, saying, “The duty of a home secretary is to keep British people safe.”

Some politicians, like former Justice Minister Phillip Lee, have called for jihadi brides and their children to be allowed back into the UK.

“We cannot just export the problem,” Lee said. “We have a moral responsibility to these people.”

London Runaway Joins ISIS

Begum ran away from her London home with two friends to travel to Syria to marry ISIS extremists in 2015 at the height of the terror group’s self-proclaimed caliphate. Now she, along with many other so-called ISIS brides, have ended up in Syrian refugee camps after fleeing the crumbling caliphate as coalition forces decimate the last vestige of the terrorist enclave.

runaway ISIS schoolgirls
L-R: Kadiza Sultana, Amira Abase and Shamima Begum in photos issued by police. (Metropolitan Police)

Citing security concerns, the UK’s interior secretary announced in late February that her citizenship had been revoked.

The family has expressed its own shock at her lack of repentance, but proceeded with a legal challenge to the government’s move to strip Begum of citizenship.

‘No Regrets’

In earlier interviews, Begum said that while she did not agree with everything the terror group had done, she has “no regrets” about joining ISIS and suggested that air strikes against the terror group in Syria somehow “justified” the Manchester Arena terror attack.

“It’s a two-way thing, really,” she told the BBC, adding that the suicide bomber that killed 22 civilians at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester was a “kind of retaliation” for bombardments of ISIS-held enclaves, adding, “So I thought, ok, that is a fair justification.”

Begum said that during her time with ISIS she was “just a housewife” and there was no evidence of her “doing anything dangerous.

Security experts such as British intelligence service head Alex Younger have warned, however, that would-be returnees like Begum were “potentially very dangerous.” Because they were in “that sort of position,” people like her were likely to have acquired certain “skills or connections.”

Survivors and other victims of the murderous cult’s reign of terror, meanwhile, are furious at the prospect of ISIS women getting a sympathetic hearing in the Western press, or worse—a free pass.

Ali Y. Al-Baroodi, who survived ISIS’s bloody occupation of Mosul, told The Jerusalem Post that that claims on the part of jihadi brides that they were “just housewives,” as Begum has insisted, are simply false.

“It was hell on Earth and every single one of them made it so,” he said, asking sarcastically if perhaps local victims of the jihadi women should “apologize for disturbing their stay there.”

“[ISIS] demolished cities and hundreds of mass graves, [and left] thousands of orphans and widows,” he added.

“It’s impossible to muster sympathy for her,” author and academic Idrees Ahmad wrote in reference to Begum, according to the Post. “She went to Syria as a colonizer, several months after ISIS beheaded journalists and aid workers.”

Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek
Tom Ozimek has a broad background in journalism, deposit insurance, marketing and communications, and adult education. The best writing advice he's ever heard is from Roy Peter Clark: 'Hit your target' and 'leave the best for last.'